Isolating the Mechanisms Behind the Test-Optional Admissions Policy



The test-optional admissions policy is a growing tactic among four-year postsecondary institutions in the United States. While each institution decides individually whether or not to implement this policy, there has been little research done in evaluating these collective decisions across colleges and universities. By using machine learning algorithms across a range of institutions, I am able to uncover trends across schools that shine a light on why institutions may be heading in this direction. I find that the motives for implementing this policy may be different depending on the selectivity of the school.

Working paper can be downloaded here.
Adam Hearn
Data Scientist, Researcher, Higher-Education Advocate

I am a Data Scientist at the American Institutes for Research, one of the world’s largest non-profit social science research centers.